Saturday, June 20, 2009
Bengals minicamp notes
By James Walker
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals wrapped up their 2009 mandatory minicamp Saturday.
Here are some final observations:
- Bengals fans were allowed to watch the final practice thanks to Cincinnati's select-a-seat program. The public entered the stadium and could potentially buy tickets for seats that were still available for the 2009 season while the team ran through its final session.
- Although it's just June, based on this minicamp it's safe to assume the early leaders in the race to be Cincinnati's No. 3 receiver are Chris Henry and Andre Caldwell. Both stood out and made plays throughout the three days of practices and separated from the pack that also includes former second-round pick Jerome Simpson and veteran Antonio Chatman.
- Speaking of receivers, overall Chad Ochocinco had a good camp. He did drop a few passes, which could be a product of not working with the Bengals' quarterbacks for a majority of the offseason. But Ochocinco looked explosive and had few problems separating from defenders. He also caught a long touchdown pass from quarterback Carson Palmer in Saturday's practice and had some fun with the fans.
- There are still some concerns about Cincinnati's offensive line. I didn't want to focus on it too much because the Bengals were playing without pads. But it is a major question this year, so I took notice throughout the week. I felt the offensive line was a little shaky early in camp and gradually improved.
- Fullback/tailback Brian Leonard, who was recently acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Rams, is getting a lot of carries at tailback, which could be a prelude to training camp and the preseason. Leonard also caught the ball well out of the backfield this week.
- The Bengals made a series of roster moves following minicamp. They signed sixth-round pick and running back Bernard Scott, who became the third draft pick under contract. Cincinnati also waived four players: Tight end Matt Sherry, receiver Mario Urrutia, quarterback Billy Farris and long-snapper James Smith.
- Lastly, the Bengals got out of minicamp in good health. Center Dan Santucci injured his foot. Other than that, there were no significant injuries for the team.